Thanks to a student in one of my Why Not Do What You Love classes, I was introduced to an online production of “Failure Club. ” In a wonderfully counter intuitive way, this series of videos tracks the real experiences of a group of New Yorkers who had dreams, who became willing to pursue those dreams, during a year of committed club membership. Because failure was no longer a risk, any and all attempts to get working on a personal dream are obviously encouraged, whether they are successful or not. For members of the Failure Club, failure is seen as likely, particularly when tackling something new, something scary, something you are invested in. Failure is to be applauded because you did something. If you don’t encounter failure, you probably didn’t shoot high enough or think big enough. Failure is only another stepping stone to learning from your mistakes, continuing to engage, have fun, try things out with the support of group members, each of whom is doing the same thing. In the Failure Club, one of the major stoppers to doing something you’ve always wanted to do, that being fear of failure, is completely obliterated by design.
Whatever framing it takes to enable us to get moving to do more of what we love, is ok by me. Congratulations to the founders of the Failure Club for their unique form of “inspiration” and support. Check it out.
Not to do what one loves “is an insult to the universe.” So says Matt Hammond of the UK who worked very hard, against the advice of skeptical family, friends, and traditional wisdom, to earn a living with his guitar. I found Matt and his story while surfing the internet, trying to locate like mindeds who have created their leap into new work and are willing to talk about it. Visit: www.jamplay.com/instructors/matt-hammond.html
Matt’s phrase really stuck with me. From one perspective I agree; we insult ourselves, our God-given talents, and even our universal destiny not to use them. I found myself thinking, “What a powerful thought! Why didn’t I come up with that?” But what surfaced ultimately was another perspective, more like the one I actually hold, “When we manage to open a door from the inside, our true purpose can begin to enter our awareness. Until then, we are all doing the best we can in life, and the universe doesn’t take our flounderings personally.” Detours, deadends, meandering paths are a necessary part of the journey. At least that’s the wisdom of hindsight.
I’m clearly still in the stage of being surprised and delighted and it has nothing to do with the fact that I’ve “sold” 3 books. Three days after receiving my inventory of books, I orchestrated a spontaneous small and rare neighborhood celebration with champagne. My neighbors had no idea I had written a book, yet I gave them each one and we shared a friendly two hours catching up on our activities.
My 80 year old neighbor Dennis called me the next morning. He said: Martha I got into your book, at which frankly I expected to just glance. An hour and a half later, I’m still glued to it. It really caused me to think about my life and how lucky I am to have lived as a mechanical engineer as a career and as a carpenter and wood carver in retirement. I’ve always done what I loved and I’ve met so many who were bored and didn’t know what to do with themselves.
Okay I admit it. Continue reading